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Groupe Michelin announces 2002 results

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Groupe Michelin's consolidated net sales for 2002 totaled 15.6 billion euros, a 2.7% increase over the previous year's results.

Michelin's sales for the fourth quarter of 2002 were 3.9 billion euros vs. 4 billion euros for Q4 2001.

Last year, the company's North American passenger and light truck sales dropped 2% from 2001 totals, according to Michelin officials.

"The decline was due for the most part to the strong progression of SUV tire sales generated in June 2001 by the recall by Ford (Motor Co.) of 13 million Firestone tires.

"As Michelin supplies more than 30% of the tires recalled, the impact of the SUV tire market decrease on (our) sales was automatically amplified."

However, Michelin officials say the price increases it implemented during 2002 are sticking as "Michelin and BFGoodrich branded tires' average price is today much higher than at the start of the year 2000."

In the commercial truck segment, Michelin regained some North American market share, according to company officials.

"In retread, (we) recorded a significant market share gain."

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